Device location on IDE cable



I was wondering, I have 4 hard drives and 3 DVD burners and a ZIP drive. My motherboard has 4 ULTRA DMA/ATA connectors.

What would be the right way to connect the devices, should I have 2 hard drives on a IDE cable or mix them with the burners?
Which should be master or slave?

Anybody have had any experiences in making the setup more efficient?

Thanks in advance.


Hi & welcome to CD Freaks.

Depends what motherboard you’ve got. My Gigabyte board has 4 IDE channels , 2 being for raid.

If I set these to ATA in the BIOS & try to use them for optical devices they just won’t burn successfully.

If I use them for HDDs then the system crawls when accessing them on either of these 2 channels.

So I finished up with a PCI IDE Controller & put HDDs on that & the boot HDD & opticals on the first primary & secondary channels & ignored the second set.


Thanks, TimC

My motherboard is a Gigabyte GA-8INXP, I have it setup as primary master 111D slave C:HDD, and on the secondary master D:HDD slave E:HDD.
I did like you and set the BIOS to ATA for the on board promise 133 and I have primary master Zip and slave as F:HDD and secondary master is 109D and slave 107D.

The main reason for the note is that I read that the 80 conductor ribbon should not be over 18" due to possible losses or added noise. so I bought some connectors and ribbon and want to custom make my own. But I was wondering if it matters the location of devices for primary vs. secondary and master vs. slave. Not knowing if there could be conflicts with communication, speed, or throughput.



The ZIP drive is only a PIO mode I would guess so I’d put that as a slave.

If it works for you (the RAID channels that is) then your setup is fine I guess.

I’ve also read about 18" being the max length & I’m able to keep within tha restriction but I have used 24" cables which didn’t cause any problems for burning.

Your problem is that with all Pioneer drives you can’t really quality scan any burns to test it out.


OK, thanks.